As The End Of Summer Approaches, Flowers And Insects Dominant The Susquehanna Wetlands
It is hard to believe that it is the last week of August, and the end of Summer is only a few weeks away. I love the warm weather and I am always saddened as the days shorten and the sun moves toward the southern horizon. It’s been two weeks since my last visit, so I headed to the Susquehanna Wetlands in Salem Township, Luzerne County on Saturday. It was mostly cloudy and a mild 70 degrees when I arrived early in the morning. The Susquehanna River was swollen from the recent heavy rains.
Walking into the wetlands the first thing I noticed was the absence of the birds songs and calls. Usually the wetlands echo with the calls of the red-winged blackbirds, catbirds, robins and songbirds. There was little bird song on Saturday, but the wetlands weren’t quiet. The sounds of cicadas and crickets replaced the singing of the birds. They now made the sounds that echoed throughout the still green woodlands of wetlands.
There were still a few birds in the wetlands, I saw and heard some green herons, a red-tailed hawk, goldfinches and a couple of wood ducks. I was surprised the wood ducks are still here. They usually are one of the first water fowl to depart at the end of Summer.
Many moths and butterflies were also attracted to the flowers including, I believe, this monarch butterfly feeding on an evening primrose flower. I often confuse a monarch with a viceroy but I am pretty sure this is a monarch.
This pretty one is a comma butterfly,
In past years there were hundreds, if not thousands of dragonflies darting and hoovering along the lake and canals in the wetlands and river lands. This year there are very few. I may have seen a dozen on my five mile hike, mainly these, Halloween pennants I believe.
And there were still swarms of the cicada killer wasps along the trails. Here is a link to a gallery with more photographs of the insects I saw on my hike. Susquehanna Wetlands insects. August 21 2021.
the first red-winged blackbird I have seen in weeks. I would see and here dozens of these noisy birds on my hikes earlier in the Spring and Summer. Most of them have already left the wetlands and are moving south for the Winter. They will return in massive flocks early next Spring.
I finished my 5 mile hike around noon. Once again I didn’t see the exciting stuff, like bears, eagles, snakes or ospreys, but it was another quiet , peaceful walk enjoying the subtle beauty of the plants, trees, flowers and insects in the wetlands. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my end of the Summer hike in the wetlands. Susquehanna Wetlands August 21 2021.
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” – William Shakespeare